A three-spot from Kentucky’s just-completed basketball news conference previewing Tuesday night’s game with Duke.
1. John Calipari said that point guard Ryan Harrow did undergo blood tests on Monday. That doesn’t sound good. The transfer from North Carolina State had flu-like symptoms last week and played just 10 minutes against Maryland on Friday night. He is still feeling ill, so UK sent the North Carolina native for blood tests. I’m not a doctor, but they could be testing for mono.
Calipari said that he probably should have held Harrow out against the Terps, and would go with Archie Goodwin and Jarrod Polson at the point if Harrow is not able to play Tuesday night.
Asked whether Polson’s 10-point performance changed his status on the team, Calipari reminded the media that he said before the game that he expected Polson to play and felt comfortable playing the former walk-on significant minutes. Later, when talking about the point guard position, the coach said he was comfortable with Polson at the point and Goodwin going back to his regular shooting-guard spot.
2. Cal said that Maryland “roughed up” his team on Friday and there’s little doubt that Duke will try to do the same Tuesday. The Blue Devils are a physical team, their determination and grit being a hallmark of Mike Krzyzewski’s clubs in the past.
Calipari also said that Duke center Marshall Plumlee “might be the best big man we see all season.” Maryland center Alex Len scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on Friday, and Cal said that Len was obviously good but that Plumlee is “clearly better.”
Plumlee had 19 points and 14 rebounds in Duke’s opening-night win over Georgia State on Friday.
3. The biggest buzz from the media op was Willie Cauley-Stein claiming he had never seen the famous, or infamous, Christian Laettner shot that beat UK in the 1992 NCAA Tournament. In fact, Cauley-Stein acted as if he knew nothing about the Laettener shot or the game that many consider the greatest college basketball game of all time.
After all, Cauley-Stein was born in 1993, which enforced Calipari’s notion that kids today aren’t really historians of the game. Their frame of reference is the past three years.
“Magic Johnson is that big guy who came to the game (last year),” said the coach.
Archie Goodwin said he fully believes Cauley-Stein’s assertion that he has not seen the Laettner shot.
“Willie’s a different dude,” Goodwin said.